Minor Site Changes 
2010.07.13 09:09 - Guns, Browning Hi-Power, Miscellanea, Site/Meta
Flipped through the last year or two's worth of entries to tag everything related to Hi-Powers. Just because. Also changed the 'Big Guns' category to 'Guns'.
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On the FN/Browning Hi-Power 
2010.05.16 22:50 - Guns, Browning Hi-Power
The Hi-Power is generally regarded as the last of John Moses Browning's firearms. In fact, he only designed a pair of prototypes of the Hi-Power; the pistol was finished after his death by Dieudonné Saive. If you're curious about the particulars, check out Wikipedia on the subject.

The Hi-Power is a fantastic pistol. Though not perfect, it points naturally, and is accurate as one could want. The Hi-Power fits well in the hand. Annoyances include a magazine disconnect which produces a different trigger pull depending on the finish of the particular magazine, and a tendency for hammer bite when held high on the grip, owing to developments in pistol shooting since the gun was designed. Originating in the days before +P ammo and hot NATO loadings (indeed, before NATO at all), the Hi-Power is usually not rated for 9x19mm+P, though swapping a spring or two will take care of that.

Well, there is one other problem: FN sells the Hi-Power very, very dear.

I've purchased both of mine used, each for a price that could buy a good, new autoloader from just about anybody else. But, boy, do they shoot. Makes me feel almost competent on the firing line. Almost.

So, there are a couple things I would change if I could. I'd like to see a Hi-Power sold at $700 that had an extended beavertail to facilitate a proper, modern grip and eliminate hammer bite, with a beveled magazine well and no magazine disconnect. Right now, that's not happening. It can't: even modifying something like a used FEG or Argentine FM-90 to accomodate the beavertail will run $700, and that's before the gun is refinished and any other work is done. For rather more than that, though, I may have what I want by the end of the year. We'll see.
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Range Notes 2010-05-14, 2010-05-15: Conversion FAIL 
2010.05.16 18:51 - Guns, Browning Hi-Power
So, range trips on Friday and Saturday.

Friday was the indoor range, with the Mateba and Hi-Power #2.

(I don't seem to have blogged Hi-Power #2. Huh.

HP2 is a .40S&W Hi-Power Practical: fixed sights, chromed frame, epoxy black slide. I purchased it back in December at a gun show for a fair-if-not-exceptional price, and discovered that it still had some red residue on it from manufacturing. The grips smell of cigarette smoke, though. Bought a conversion barrel in January, I think, from EFK Firedragon to run 9mm through it. Finally got around to testing this all out this week.)

Started and ended with the Mateba, which ran fine and attracted some attention from the guy on RSO/brass sweeping duty. He noticed that the cylinder looked funny and rotated the wrong direction. In fairness, the slide travels too fast for the human eye.

HP2 ... jammed. A lot. Double feeds, stove pipes ... Just generally not a happy camper. Tried two different magazines, and no joy from either one. Seemed like it might be solvable with a lighter recoil spring, so I resolved to go home and try that out at Knob Creek the following day.

Saturday was a morning trip with my sister to Knob Creek. My primary goals were to rotate ammo through the carry pistol and get everything that I'd been fiddling with (two ARs, a Saiga shotgun, and the second Hi-Power) tested.
  • The Stag-15 still works, but is getting kinda heavy with all the extra crap hanging off it. No surprise there. Sights need zeroed, and my sister reported a problem with the bolt not locking back on an empty mag. Other than needing to apply some Kentucky windage, it worked fine for me.
  • The yellow AR (which we'll call The Banana for the obvious reason) works fine, though I haven't check it out for conspicuous wear, yet. Very quiet shooting .22. Sounded like "pff!" through my ear muffs.
  • The Saiga ... sorta works. I'm not happy with the stock, but that may just be where it's positioned, right now. It simply will not eat Remington's low brass. It's practically a bolt action on that stuff. It runs A-OK on 3" magnum buckshot, but owmyshoulder.
  • Having swapped the 18.5lb spring to 17 for the Hi-Power, discovered that it wouldn't eject: spent cases were getting caught in the ejection port. And I didn't think to bring the .40S&W magazines for it along, so it sat most of the trip out.
  • Hi-Power #1 just worked. My sister claimed to have a problem with it not locking back on the last round, though.
I think the Saiga can be sorted with a trip to somebody who knows their stuff to enlarge the gas ports, and the addition of a Warsaw-length fixed stock. Won't be as swoovy as a folder, but that plus a recoil pad and my shoulder will be happier.

The Hi-Power might be fixable by swapping the mainspring down and going back to the 18.5lb recoil spring, but I can't do that myself and won't be able to shoot .40S&W in it without getting the mainspring swapped. I will have to ponder this for a while.

Also ran some ammo through the CZ, and the Sig Mosquito. The Mosquito was its usual self: fine for the first magazine, irascible thereafter. The CZ just did its thing: accurate and reliable.
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Range Notes 
2009.11.09 12:52 - Guns, Browning Hi-Power
Went out to Knob Creek Range Saturday morning with my sister to pop plastic bottles. I have no idea how many we actually destroyed, but we filled up at least one trash can, maybe two. I still have a couple guns to clean up, and need to get the AR zeroed at some point (will probably do that at Open Range, which is an indoor place). Also need new cans of CLP and GunScrubber.

On the other hand, I managed to pop a basketball-sized pumpkin clean apart at 25 yards (yes, I think the Gold Dots will work Just Fine), and catch a couple water bottles at 50 yards with the Hi Power. Managed to catch a few targets with the un-zeroed AR at 50 yards. The holosight's a lot easier to pick up than the irons, and the magnifier makes it plenty easy to see 2-liters at that distance. I've really got to work on my rifle stance, though. May have to give up and find an NRA Basic Rifle course or an Appleseed course or something. Don't seem to be any in the area, though.

My sister seemed to shoot okay, but also seemed kinda unimpressed with herself. I think it was more the lack of feedback, but it may also be that I was monopolizing the Hi-Power (it's my carry piece and I need the practice). She also had some trouble telling when she'd plugged the pumpkin she was trying blow up. Turns out, that 40-year-old M2 hardball goes straight through a lot of things.

Each of three new magazines were run through the AR once, which worked without hiccups. Managed to confirm that the Hi-Power will eat Gold Dots okay. The Garand's been picky about loading, but I think that's just because I've done a sloppy job loading the clips. My sister also experienced a jam of some sort with the CZ. Looked like it might be a double-feed of some sort, but she had it sorted out by the time I noticed.

On the whole, not the best morning ever spent at the range.
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I did not know that 
2009.10.25 23:31 - Guns, Browning Hi-Power, Entertainment, Movies, Television, Meatspace Stupidity
According to imfdb, "John 'Hannibal' Smith's sidearm of choice was the Browning Hi-Power."

That's pretty cool, in a pop-cultural sort of way. I wonder if that's going to carry over to the movie they're doing?
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